Allen Michel and Elijah Tapia each scored a pair of touchdowns, Seth Castillo added another, and Moriarty’s defense delivered another stout performance as the Pintos stomped the visiting Valencia Jaguars 34-0 last Friday.
Moriarty head coach Joe Anaya gave the offense, defense and his staff high praise for the victory. “We have hard-working kids, we have great coaches, and we knew if we executed we could get this kind of a result,” he said.
Tapia capped Moriarty’s eight-play opening drive with a 5-yard sweep around the right side, diving just inside the goal-line pylon for the touchdown.
Michel’s 4-yard touchdown run in the second quarter gave the Pintos a 14-0 lead at half time. He led the team in rushing with 16 carries for 148 yards.
“The [offensive] line has really stepped up,” Michel said. “They work real hard, they get that extra inch and that’s when me, Elijah, and Seth can excel. I can’t take much credit when the hole’s wide open for me, ya know?”
Michel missed all of last season due to an ACL injury on his left knee but said his leg “feels better than anything” now.
“It’s great to be doing what I love again,” he said.
Moriarty’s stingy defense did its part by stopping the Jaguars on all of their possessions, including twice inside the Pintos’ 10-yard line.
“Peter Romero put together a heck of a game plan,” Anaya said of his defensive coach, adding, “The energy level was much better this week—our kids knew they could win this game, they knew it.”
Castillo’s 32-yard touchdown run, Tapia’s 60-yard scamper to the end zone, and Michel’s 15-yard TD—all in the fourth quarter—rounded out the Moriarty’s scoring.
The Pintos host Gallup Friday at 7 p.m.
Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at [email protected]